How To Install a Kitchen Faucet

STEP 1: Install the sink gasket

Before a new faucet is attached, a seal is needed between the faucet and the sink. Some new faucets come with a plastic or rubber gasket. If not, you can make a snake from plumber’s putty and put it on the sink where the faucet will sit. If you’re wondering how to use plumber’s putty, you’ll find that it’s similar to working with Play-Doh.

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Final Thoughts

Learning how to replace a kitchen faucet is one of the easier kitchen remodeling updates that DIYers can accomplish to freshen up their homes. While a new faucet can be installed in just a few hours, the type of faucet being swapped affects the amount of time, number of tools needed, and whether professional help may be optimal.

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If you are updating a single-mount faucet with another single-mount, it is the easiest scenario. For those who want to change from a single-mount to a double-mount, holes will need to be created to accommodate the new faucet. Changing from a double-mount to a single-mount is also possible, but it requires a base plate to cover the holes that are no longer needed.

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Install new faucet

To install the new faucet, first place the gasket over the holes in the sink and put on the deck plate. If you’re planning to use caulk or putty, make sure to first refer to the instruction manual of the faucet. Next, slide the faucet lines into the holes and reinstall the nuts and washers under the sink just as you had removed them. Tighten the mounting nut and brackets until they are secure.

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Richard installed the Fairbury Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet in stainless steel, manufactured by American Standard. It comes with washers and gaskets and most of the materials required to install it.

Everything else he used to replace the kitchen faucet, including the putty, soap dispenser, wrench and screwdriver, can be purchased at home centers and plumbing supply stores.

Now install the new faucet

Photo 5: Place the flange over the faucet opening

Photo 5: Place the flange over the faucet opening

Follow any manufacturer’s preassembly instructions and place the optional flange (see Photo 8) over the faucet opening. Finger-tighten the flange nuts underneath the sink and check the alignment of the flange, faucet and sink hole from above.

Photo 6: Tighten the faucet mounting nut

Photo 6: Tighten the faucet mounting nut

Check the operation of the faucet and handle to confirm you’re not putting it in backward, and thread the feeder lines through the flange and sink holes. Then slip on the faucet washer, and thread on and tighten the faucet-mounting nut from below, gently spreading the faucet supply tubes if necessary to gain tool clearance (sometimes manufacturers provide a special tool for this).

Photo 7: Tighten the flange nut

Photo 7: Tighten the flange nut

Hand-tighten, then snug up the flange nuts with an open-end wrench. You can only turn the wrench about a one-sixth revolution at a time.

Photo 8: Attach the spray hose to the faucet suppl

Photo 8: Attach the spray hose to the faucet supply tube

Thread the spray nozzle line through the faucet body, then thread the spray hose fitting onto the faucet supply tube and tighten it. Pull the nozzle out of the faucet to make sure the hose under the sink operates freely, then attach the counterweight following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Photo 9: Mark the supply lines where you want to c

Photo 9: Mark the supply lines where you want to cut them

Tighten the new valves onto the supply tubes and mark the feeder lines just above the compression nuts on the valves for cut-off.

Photo 10: Connect the supply tube to the supply lines Clean the copper tubing with fine sandpaper, then slip the nut, compression ring and valve body over the pipe and tighten. Close the valve, turn on the main water valve and check for leaks. Place a bucket under the faucet and turn the faucet on to check for leaks. Reassemble the garbage disposer, P-traps and drain lines.

Follow the manufacturer’s directions to mount the new faucet, then remount the sink (with the new faucet) and hook up the water lines as we show in this how to replace a kitchen faucet project.

TIP With most faucets, only three of the four holes are covered, so you’ll either need to get a blank insert or use the extra hole for a liquid soap or instant hot water dispenser. Plan to do the installation while you’re under the sink with everything torn apart. If you have a leaking faucet, consult this article on how to fix a leaky faucet.

Selecting a faucet When you’re buying a faucet (as with most other things), you get what you pay for. Faucets that cost less than $100 may be made of chrome-plated plastic arts with seals and valves that wear. They’re OK for light-duty use but won’t stand up long in a frequently used kitchen sink. Faucets that cost more than $100 generally have solid brass bodies with durable plating and washerless controls that’ll give leak-free service for many, many years. Some even come with a lifetime warranty. Quality continues to improve up to about $200. Spend more than $200 and you’re mostly paying for style and finish. Stick with brand name projects so replacement parts will be easier to find—in the unlikely event you’ll ever need them.

STEP 3: Connect the faucet to the water lines

Some faucets (Delta Faucet brand, for example) come with flexible PEX lines connected to the faucet already, which makes this step much easier as the hoses just need to be connected down at the water lines.

For faucets without lines attached, flexible piping will need to be attached at your line and then to the faucet.First, wrap a bit of Teflon tape around the threads to give everything a tight seal, and then attach the tubing to the new faucet and water line.

If the water lines are behind the sink basin near the top of the cabinet, it can be well worth your while to use a basin wrench instead of struggling through the project with a regular wrench. (We used a regular wrench and it works, but there’s always the chance that your fingers will go numb and you’ll drop a wrench on your head. Not that we would know firsthand…)

Once this step is complete you can turn the water back on, check for any faucet leaks, and enjoy having running water from a new faucet in your sink.

Kit Stansley

When should you get a pro to install the faucet?

Though installing a kitchen faucet is among the simpler of plumbing jobs, there are a few scenarios in which professional installation might be called for.

  • Systemic changes: DIY faucet projects work best if it’s a straightforward replacement: The simpler the swap out, the more likely your success. If the installation process requires any modifications to the fixtures or parts of the plumbing system itself — even if it’s just to gain access — then you probably want to hire a pro for the job.
  • Temperamental system: If you’ve had recent or repeated problems with your kitchen plumbing, it might be better to have a plumber deal with the faucet. There could be some bigger structural issues that your efforts could trigger or magnify.
  • Signs of damage: Similarly, if during the installation you encounter any signs of corrosion, leaks or other significant damage to the supply lines or pipes, abort the mission and seek out some serious help. You don’t want to make things worse.
  • Warranty details: Most new faucets come with manufacturer warranties. If you break or damage the item in the course of putting it in, however, you may risk voiding the warranty (many won’t cover problems arising from “improper or incorrectly performed installation,” which they could claim that you as an amateur did) and have to pay out of pocket to replace or repair the device. In any case, be sure to read the fine print.

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